about me · anxiety · bad habits · mental health

What It Feels Like

Right now, it seems like the sky will fall on me and everything will come to an end. This is the perception I have in a single instant whenever the anxiety within me rises and rises until it reaches a crescendo of no return. I hate it.

A constant that usually goes unnoticed and perhaps taken for granted — my beating heart — goes off at the pace of a jackhammer. Or so it feels like. It could be alternating between beats, going faster or slower and that is what bothers me. Maybe I’m naturally sensitive to the changes of the heart since the organ itself is so up close and personal, tucked right in my chest where I can feel every change, particularly when I am attuned to sensing those changes during an anxious state.

Even the slight feel of my blood flowing in sync with my heartbeat becomes a minor thing that irritates me. The tight twist of my abdomen area and the rolling, unsettling sensation of the inside of my stomach. A “I feel sick” tingle, but not the kind where bleary nausea like motion sickness overpowers my whole being. Instead it’s like a sickness that is just there, making it harder to focus and calm down.

There are other things too. My throat closes up and no matter how much water I drink, it still feels as if a drought has set in. The inability to focus on what I was doing. I get fidgety. And this is where the leftovers from nervous habits I used to do all the time come out to play. Curling a strand of hair around my finger. Pressing half crescent moons from the nail of my thumbs into the underside of my index fingers. Biting my nails. Crossing and uncrossing my legs. Clenching my jaw. Pushing up my glasses. Running my hand through my hair, picking at my scalp with my nails or removing my scrunchie and retwisting my hair into a bun multiple times.

Sometimes this transitions into rubbing my chin or the sides of my face and getting fixated on running the pads of my fingers over my healing scabs, which I may or may not pick away. It’s worse when this happens in public so every 1-second glance I get from a person sends me into a spiral of awareness of my behavior and how I look. My hands are a problem, but I’m not entirely sure busying them with my phone is helpful either.

My belief system about my anxiety is quite inaccurate when I’m in one of my states. When in panic mode, the mind seems to think of anything and everything, even the most implausible things. It’s different for everyone. My mind usually goes for 1) Looking for an escape from the anxiety, and 2) Trying to rationalize what I am feeling, albeit in the most irrational ways possible.

Two examples of this: I assume that I will progressively feel worse until my heart combusts from stress or I’ll simply black out. In fact, the likelihood of either happening is not very likely at all.

I have had only one experience to date where I almost passed out from exhaustion because of eating almost nothing in a day. That was a different situation but in a strange way it helps to ground me in reality by remembering what it truly felt like to be so physically drained that gripping onto a pole for support took a strenuous effort.

As for the other scenario, in hindsight after coming out of the fog of anxiety, I can see how silly the idea is that my heart could suddenly be set on fire for some unexplained reason.

Featured Image by Patrick Hendry.

11 thoughts on “What It Feels Like

    1. Glad you were able to see parts of yourself in my experience with what anxiety feels like. All too often I feel quite alone with going through it. It’s comforting to know my writing is relatable and resonates with your own experience.


  1. Have you considered taking up smoking? Hahahahhaa. Actually, the above advice really is the best – breathe – take deep breaths when you feel like you need it. Count to 10, then backwards, then do it again. Or focus on something outside of your body like the edge of a table or passing landscape. See how long you can “meditate” or think of that one thing.

    There are so many wonderful and useful ideas out there to help anxious people. Get out there and find them! You’ll feel better – it’s a process though, so be kind to yourself, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL. I have never smoked anything before, not unless you count all the secondhand smoke I’ve inhaled in my lifetime.

      Deep breathing does help but often it seems like I forget how to think straight when the anxiety hits me really hard. The only way to change that is to make a conscious effort to catch myself and do it to stabilize myself before things take a sharp downhill. I will try it the next time I feel the shift of anxiety.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for being vulnerable in sharing this. It reminds me of times when I would fall into my whirlpool of negative thoughts when I was going through depression. I don’t think I have anxiety, but I know going through depression simply numbed all feelings for me and I desperately wanted to escape. I feel like I’ve only just wandered through it, no real solution, just forcing myself to do things on a schedule and unplugging from social media to meditate on simple things like music and crafts.
    I do hope you’ll have a great week though! Sending you hugs and smiles 🙂 You got this girl! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is tough to go through depression. 😞 It’s a challenge to power past it but great to hear you are keeping to a schedule to be active. Yes, unplugging from social media is a great way to find calm with yourself. I hope you continue getting those moments to unwind after those hard days.

      Aww thanks for the hugs and smiles. I’m not sure I’ve done much smiling this week, ugh, but this funk I’m in surely won’t last forever.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ugh, I can relate to this so much. The throat closing sensation has to be the worst, especially when it just stays like that. Just thinking about it is making me anxious. I also get the sweats as well, probably from the increase in heart rate and temperature. Bleh. I have no magic fix it all for this. I usually just distract myself until the feeling subsides.

    *Hugs* 💜💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder if the throat closing sensation is a real or perceived one. Like, does the throat physically close up for real as a response to anxiety or am I just feeling like it is because that’s how my mind perceives the dryness in my throat? The sweats happen for me too but worse if the weather is warmer. A good consolation for anxiety is knowing it won’t last forever. That’s something at least.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it’s perceived because my throat closes for real sometimes (allergies) and it’s a different sensation entirely. With anxiety, it’s uncomfortable/painful but can disappear at anytime. When it closes up for real, I feel like I literally cannot breath for several hours.

        Anxiety is one of those things that makes me feel very small because of how it’s held me back. When people talk about my potential, I just feel dumb for thinking how hard day to day is, let alone fulfilling grandiose dreams, lol. It doesn’t last, but it sure likes to visit.

        Liked by 1 person

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